Young Tacloban Footballers Share Story of Hope, Resilience at FIFA World Cup Festival in Moscow

Moscow pic1

Nilda Macion (right in luminous green uniform shirt) in action at the FIFA Foundation Festival friendly tournament on 30 June at the Red Square. She is 18 years old from the Fisherman’s Village in Tacloban City. (S. Pamocol photo)

MOSCOW 06 July 2018 – Traveling all the way from Tacloban City, Leyte to Moscow, Russia, four young footballers and one youth leader shared their story of hope and resilience at the 2018 FIFA Foundation Festival held in Moscow from 25 June to 05 July 2018.

Daniel Ocenar, Nilda Macion, Carl Ladios, and Mariane Yman–all survivors of typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda–were selected to represent the Philippines out of the 865 children, who successfully completed the Football for Life Academy (FFLA) program organized by Fundlife International in Tacloban City.

The young footballers joined more than 200 players from 48 countries in an intensive 11-day program of workshops, cultural exchanges, and friendly football matches aimed at harnessing the power of football for social development.

The highlight was the football tournament on 30 June 2018, held at Moscow Red Square—the heart of the Russian Federation—where Tacloban’s young champions showed their football skills.

“I am very happy for our young champions for this opportunity to see Russia and connect with other football enthusiasts from various parts of the world. I hope that this once-in-a-lifetime experience inspires them to excel more and be a force for positive change in their community. Thank you to Fundlife International for making this happen,” Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos D. Sorreta stated.

FFLA’s young coach/community mentor Robelyn Villas, also a Taclobanon, and Fundlife International Founder and Programme Director Marco Kasic led the delegation.

Fundlife International, a non-profit organization, was established in 2014 after typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda to help in the rehabilitation process of the affected communities in Leyte and Samar. The FFLA is a community-based holistic educational program that uses football as an engagement tool for interpersonal development, Mr. Kasic noted.

Through this flagship project, Fundlife International has already conducted more than 3,500 hours of direct play and education sessions, benefiting over 12,500 children in nine communities. END

Moscow pic2

Young footballers from Tacloban (first row, left to right) Nilda Macion, Carl Ladios, Marianne Yman, Daniel Ocenar, and Coach Robelyn Villas represent the Philippines at the FIFA Foundation Festival 2018 held from 25 June to 5 July 2018, in Moscow. (2nd row, left to right) Mr. Marco Kasic, Founder and Programme Director of Fundlife International, Mme. Maria Consuelo Sorreta, spouse of Ambassador Carlos D. Sorreta, Third Secretary and Vice Consul Luningning G. Camoying, and Third Secretary Catherine F. Alpay. (S. Pamocol photo)

Moscow pic3

Nida Nacion (in luminous green uniform) show their football skills at the FIFA Foundation Festival friendly tournament held on 30 June 2018 at the Red Square. (S. Pamocol photo)

For more information, visit  or